The hotspots are in 3 sub-districts as the company tries to get more of Mpumalanga people connected online.
Multinational mining giant Glencore is currently rolling out free WiFi access to the people of Mpumalanga, assisting those in need of access to information as the Covid-19 pandemic forces people to cross the digital divide and learn online.
The company said it has become even more important for it to assist communities as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc.
Glencore has been giving out 500MB to each person connecting via their hotspots in eMalahleni, Steve Tshwete and eMakhazeni but has now increased that to 1GB per user.
“4 900 people are currently making use of Glencore’s free WiFi daily. Users are consuming more than 7 000GB of data per month,” the company said in a statement.
“We have 19 hotspots in 3 sub-districts and we are going to add 10 more hotspots. The free WiFi allows up to 250 users at each hotspot to connect to the internet and gain access to information and educational content,” the company said.
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Glencore community affairs head Noel Pillay said the Covid-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for the country, including “where access to basic needs is scarce and limited”.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic it has become even more important for us to offer support through as many initiatives as possible.
“So far this has included us stepping in to assist with critical needs such as health care, education, access to water and food and we have also seen the need to assist communities with access to information which is where this WiFi initiative comes in,” Pillay said.
“We truly believe these hotspots will make a substantial difference in these communities, especially to those who need to download or live stream their learning material through the internet.” he said.
Company acting community manager Ian Troskie said they have tried to spread the internet access to larger parts of eMalahleni.
“We are positive that this will go a long way to relieve some of the strain of high data costs for these communities,” said Troskie.
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies.
It is a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities, which includes the operations of 150 mining sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities.
With a strong footprint in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore’s industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of more than 90 offices located in over 50 countries.
Its customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, oil and food processing sectors and the company also provides financing, logistics and other services to their clients. With a high presence in coal mining and operating mines in eMalahleni, Belfast and Middelburg the company employs close to 150 000 workers.
(edited by MLM)
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